Facing up to ageing gracefully

We’re so excited to share with you the article published in the Gold Coast Bulletin this week!

WE all want to look great as we age, with maintaining a fresh, youthful appearance linked to how well we’ve cared for our skin over the years.

Alessandra Militello (pictured), director of the Laser Skin Centre, says that while signs of ageing are inevitable, there’s a difference between the signs of healthy ageing and extrinsic age-related concerns.

“The first signs of healthy ageing starts with fine lines across the brow, in the frown area and smile lines around the eyes,” Ms Militello said.

“Our brows start to droop and we lose definition in our cheeks, around the nose area and chin. We also start to see a thinning of the lips, and neck bands appear. Last but not least, we see an increase in fat under the chin.”

However, ageing of the skin is not just sequential – there are the extrinsic, or preventable environmental factors that prematurely age the skin, making it tricky to maintain that glow with each passing year.

Ms Militello said extrinsic age- related concerns typically consisted of sun spots, solar lentigines (sun- induced freckles), severe elastosis (yellowing of the skin) and sagging of the skin – all caused by unprotected sun exposure – while other causes of extrinsic ageing included stress, smoking and alcohol intake.

“While too much unprotected sun exposure can result in a leathery, actinic bronzed look and lead to skin cancer, poor lifestyle choices can cause dyspigmentation, premature wrinkling and telangiectasis (red discolouration of the skin),” she said.

To avoid the skin woes associated with premature ageing, it’s all about making smart choices.

“Wear protective clothing such as a fashionable floppy hat and use a sunscreen every day with a minimum broad spectrum of 30+, re-applying it every two hours when out and about,” Ms Militello said.

“I have a sunscreen next to my toothbrush, in the car door and in my gym bag – it’s about being aware and understanding the damage of harsh UV rays. When you are educated you will do anything to delay the signs.”

She also recommends taking an omega three supplement such as a fish oil to help promote healthy fats and hydration internally, as well as drinking adequate water and limiting dehydrators such as coffee and alcohol.

“Stress plays a vital role in our skin health as well, so ensure you take time out for yourself whether it’s a short walk, relaxing in the park under a shady tree, or cuddling your fur baby for 20 minutes without distractions,” she said.

And for those who do need a little extra assistance to maintain their youthful looks, help is at hand.

From dermal fillers and anti- wrinkle injections to radio frequency microneedling treatments and laser skin rejuvenation, there are many anti-ageing treatments available to help refresh the skin and boost confidence.

When opting for an anti-ageing treatment, Ms Militello said it was most important to feel comfortable during a consultation.

“Your questions must be answered in the most ethical way possible, and a treatment plan must be devised specifically for your needs; it’s about building trust so that you can make an informed decision regarding the appearance of your skin,” she said.

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